The real highlight and characteristic feature of Alupka is the rich vegetation, tangled and winding city streets, the beauty of the Vorontsov Palace and the amazing park. And yet, of course, the majestic peaks of Ai-Petri mountain, which are impossible to forget after seeing them at least once.
The history of Alupka began in 960, when the Crimea was under the rule of the Khazar Khaganate. A settlement called Alubika was founded here. These places have preserved the memory of different historical eras up to our time. On the South Coast of Crimea, scientists have discovered the ruins of Taurian burial grounds with tombs and fortresses. Over the years, the population of the southern coast has lost its relative independence. By order of the emperor of Byzantium Justinian I, “long walls” were erected on the mountain passes. The walls were supposed to stop nomads and block the access to these lands.
In the XIV-XV centuries, a one of the strongholds of the Genoese was located here, it was called Lupiko. After the annexation of Crimea to the Russian Empire in 1783, Alupka was given in possession to Prince Potemkin. Later, in 1823, it was taken over by Count Vorontsov, who built the legendary palace here. Nowadays, Vorontsov Palace is the main attraction of the city.
In the XX century, Alupka becomes a popular resort, at this time more than 200 private resorts are being built on its territory. It is worth noting that Maxim Gorky, Fyodor Chaliapin, Ivan Bunin, Mikhail Kotsyubinsky, Sergey Rachmaninov, Lesya Ukrainka and other famous celebrities have vacationed in Alupka. In 1938, Alupka acquired the status of a city, and in 1941, it already had 25 health resorts of various profiles, several schools, a hospital, and other institutions.
Alupka is beautiful at any time of the year, including the winter period. At any time, visitors are always welcome here. The doors of guest houses, hotels and recreation centers are open to visitors all year round. It is worth noting that the majority of tourists in the winter come here to improve their health by the re-healing air, which has a proven effect on health conditions. In winter, there are few holidaymakers in the resort, and therefore a very calm and relaxing atmosphere reigns.
The important religious monument at the resort is the Church of Archangel Michael that started to be built in 1898. It was constructed on the ruins of the old church, which preserved some elements used for the foundation afterwards. The new church was finally built in 1903 and reconstructed not so long ago. Today, the temple attracts with its big golden domes. The church facade has remained almost unchangeable since its construction.
At the resort, there are also a lot of unique nature attractions. One of its districts bears a quite unusual name - Big and Small Chaos. This is an area where natural stone formations were found. The researchers still argue about how this area appeared. This interesting district is not so far from the Vorontsov Palace. As some researchers suppose, it was formed by the volcanic eruption.
The special cultural center in the city is the Theatre of Sea Animals. The diversity of animal species, whose performances you can witness in the theatre, is really impressive. Every day, a lot of interesting events are held here. The theatre is located on the territory of the beautiful park. In it, there is also another unusual attraction, the inverted house. Everyone can visit it too. It is necessary to be very careful inside the house, as all the items of furniture are turned upside down here.
Those who prefer walking along picturesque places should certainly take tours to the waterfall on the river Uchan-su. It is located in the incredibly beautiful natural area. When moving towards to the waterfall, you can admire fabulous landscapes and see rare plants and typical dwellers of this place. Experienced tourists note that it is more interesting to admire the waterfall in spring when it becomes very swift.
The main value of the historical resort is the Massandara winery that you can visit too. The visitors of the winery have an opportunity to watch how legendary wine is produced and to see the halls where wine is vatted. On its territory, there is a tasting room where you can taste the most popular wine. Here, you can also drop in a specialized shop.